Other Exciting Tales in the Pursuit of Publishing Pt. 1


What else should I know?

I have learned a great many things in my pursuit to become more than a writer.  More than I thought I would possibly need to know to actually segue into the world of an author… like publishing.

This all started as a gamble to see if I could write a book.  Then it swelled into the wonder if I could write another, and then another.  Once I had the first three in various stages of completeness, I wondered what was next.

What would it take to get published?

I read everything I could and checked with multiple publishers, but the genre my books were in was not the one they were looking to fill.  The other shoe dropped when I found out that my stories were considered too short for the science fiction genre.  I thought about padding the stories out, but it would absolutely kill the flow.

Each of my stories were between the mid fifty thousand words to over sixty thousand words, but the genre I was working in regularly requested between eighty thousand to one hundred thousand words.  These two things pretty much curdled the publishing plan.

But what about Self-Publishing?

And so began my great search for information into what was needed to make that happen and as you already know, I have hit on that mission in previous posts.  I’m finalizing some steps before I hit the next bigger ones and then it hit me, what is the hardest part about being a new author?

Being known.  You’ve written a book, but who knows who you are and why would they buy your book?  A cover and a byline will give you some traffic, but that’s it.  I started this whole blog to work on that (plus its good writing practice in a different format).  How is that going?  Only time will tell.

So what’s another hold back from someone buying a book from an unknown author?  Expense.  I have thought long and hard on this one and you have no idea how many algorithms I’ve read for pricing it out.  I’ve looked into the KDP Select and how that works.

How can I make stories intriguing without a lot of cost to someone?  Then it hit me, the initial idea had been for a TV show and each full length book represented a season.  So why not break each season down into three episodes?

The shorter length fit the lower cost algorithms for buyers and I can release them relatively quickly which should give me the time to complete the fourth one and get a final rewrite on the third one.

So, I’ve got my plan, my calendar and I’ve got all my ducks lined up in a row.  I will be knocking them down one by one sooner than later.

How bright can the future be?  Let’s find out!


Collaborating with Tyson K. Lane Pt.3


As you can see, I have now listed the other writer as Tyson K. Lane!

Once this whole project took a huge step forward, he no longer wanted to lurk in the shadows like some puppet master.

And by a huge step forward, I mean that the peoples of the world have more structure, world is more fully realized (there’s even a map of sorts) and there’s more detail in how the locations function.

Beyond that, the main character has more of a back story as well as a direction forward.  And in the words of Mr. Lane himself, “She is finally talking to me and I think I like her…”

To top that off, we even have a few first draft chapters in the pile now.

Huge.  Step.  Forward.

The Mysteries of Waking


The dry rasp of his eyes opening dispelled the dust that had accumulated in the grooves of his skin.  His sudden indrawn breath created motes in the dim light of the early dawn.

His body jerked violently upward and a wretched cry burst from his lips as gravity pulled him to the dry, rotted floorboards.  Thin slivers of wood punctured his skin while he lay there panting.

It was a matter of moments before he pieced together that the slick wetness his hands and head lay in glittered with a crimson sheen.  The surface of the pool was broken as he struggled to push himself away from it.

Wildness radiated from his large eyes as his hands searched his body for the source of the blood.  Streaks of it ran up the walls and glistened against the filthy popcorn ceiling.  Horror ruled the curves of his face as he spied the body draped unceremoniously over the small chest in the corner.

Tears cut runnels through the scarlet splashed across his face as his body shook, “How long have I been here?  How many days?  How many months?  Each morning it’s the same.  More blood on my hands and a new body somewhere in here.”

His eyes lit upon the long piece of cool metal that rested forlornly under the saggy and broken bed frame.  Greedily, his fingers reached for it.  It was cold to the touch, much colder than the room would allow.

“Why is this happening?” he cursed against the four walls of his prison.  “How many times have I tried to leave and yet I always find myself here,” his eyes lit upon the form on the chest, “with only the company of a corpse.”

The slide of the M1911 pulled back to frame an empty chamber before it slipped back with a violent click.  The magazine clattered against the floor, but he could tell from the sound that it was empty.

The pistol fell loosely from his grip before he looked skyward, “Why is it always a different body?  Where do they come from?  Where do they go?”  His bloodied hands clutched at the skin stretched over his skull, “Am I going mad?”

A woman watched as he pulled himself under the bed from the tiny monitor bolted to the desk.  Her lips curled of their own accord as she grabbed the handset of the old rotary phone and her long, painted nail dialed 0, 1, and 0.

The buzz and click sounded loud in the confines of the security station, but she remained languid until the voice came through.  “Yes sir, I believe this one is almost ready.  Only another day or two.  Thank you, sir.”

The phone clacked against the ancient plastic of its body.  Her fingers steepled as she continued to watch him through the monitor, “Only another day or two…”

Collaborating with another Writer Pt.2


Progress!  It feels good!

I haven’t written anything fantasy based in a very long time, but it’s one of those genres that I have enjoyed many times throughout my life.

Where am I going with this?  Well, this collaboration is going to be in the fantasy genre!

And I got bit hard by the idea bug.  Ideas flowed like water and we were able to hash out a more descriptive world and the main city in which the story will take place (at least the beginning of it).   Maybe I’ll draw a map!

We’ve got a finger on the pulse of the races that would populate this world and what their abilities would be.  We’ve even got the semblance of a series of magic systems and how they would interplay in the world and with each other.

Even a semblance of the religions of this planet has been cobbled together!  I think we also got a touch of the mythology of the world in place too!

We’re still throwing the pitches back and forth to see what stays, what changes and what new things are added, but man, I am so excited!

My Search for a Book Cover Pt. 2


Finding the right information can be difficult, sometimes even a gamble.

I think (huge word right there) I’ve got a handle on Licensing Agreements and Limited Use Agreements.  I also think (whoa, again?) I have a solid grasp on formatting for Kindle, Apple ITunes, and the Nook.  So I should be good to go, right?  Right?

After having learned that the cost of having my own cover made for me was expensively prohibitive, I looked into some of those sites where a designer will whip something up for you on the cheap.  It was a long day going through the designers, but I did pick a few out that I liked.

I read a lot of positive reviews and then started coming across… Dun!  Dun!  Dun!  Licensing Agreement lawsuits…

There were also stories about designers essentially stealing another designer’s work and hosting it as theirs.  I did some random checks on some of the example covers I liked and found the same ones under other designers.  Now, who was the original designer and who was taking it?

Now these weren’t for the designers I had chosen, but I was concerned.  Do I have the time to research a digital entity to see who the true owner is?  Is it back to the drawing board?

Only Time will tell…

Lost on the Dark Streets


I was alone in the alley and it was dingy.  Pools of gray water were trapped in pits by the edges of the buildings.  Pieces of garbage floated by in some while in others they had sunken beneath their miniscule waves.  There was a smell to the place that could be said to be indescribable only in the sense that a person wouldn’t want to bother with the time and research it would take to find out to do so.

Shadows were everywhere; some layered deeply enough to become impenetrable by any light.  Others were just on the edge of the cone of brightness from the bulb above.  There was little of interest here, so why had I agreed to meet here?

In a fit of boredom and the need for a sense of control, I opened the case and pulled out the six string.  Two string sets in double octaves that created a richer tone.  The wood of the instrument fairly glowed under the poor street lamp.

Warily, I placed my hand against the strings and felt the roughness of the bound wire.  My fingers curled into position and I strummed the strings ever so lightly.  Melancholy filled the air and burgeoning light began to filter through one of the walls that enclosed the alley.  An ancient song came to mind and the words fluttered to my lips.  I played alone in that place for what felt like eternity yet must have only been a fleeting moment.

A voice spoke quietly from the edge of darkness, “Yes, my friend, I was right.  This is a place for magic, where the walls between the universes are so very thin.”

His pointed teeth glittered like starlight from the blackest of the shadows as the strings under my fingers continued to vibrate their tones in this shabby space between buildings… between worlds.

(Photo by Kaique Rocha from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/street-urban-japan-brasil-50859/)

Collaborating with another Writer Pt.1


I mentioned this somewhat briefly a while ago, but this is not dead!

Let’s see.  We’ve got a premise and a couple main characters.  We are working out the world for these two and it’s been an interesting experience.

Why interesting you say?  Well, we come at the story creation process differently.  Some things that I just take for granted on how I do things are exactly not the way he does things.  And vice versa.

We are in the process of having to come up with a communication style that works for the both of us and right now that’s all about finding where the holes in our thoughts are.

It’s been an interesting learning experience.